Nintendo Isn’t Dead

Austin Nguyen, Reporter

I remember one day, when I was just playing with my Wii, my Mom told me about her time playing Nintendo. She had a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and shared her memories of Mario with her family, and the impact it had on her generation. But in the world of graphics and processors, I feel like some people forget the fun and simplicity of gaming. See, back before anyone cared about how fast games felt or how sharp things were, there were just simple games.

My Love of Video Games

I love video games, because they give you the freedom to be whoever you want, and do things that are unimaginable. You can easily get sucked in a fantasy world and forget about everything that’s going on in reality. A lot of my friends like different video games, which I do appreciate. Some like the racing type, while others like the action and adventure games. While I did like those games, I always got into Nintendo Games because of the depth and history of the different worlds and characters.

These are some popular characters from the Nintendo franchise.

Mario is just a normal plumber who goes into the Mushroom Kingdom and tries to save Princess Peach, while Link is a hero fighting to save Zelda from Gannon, a force that is threatening Hyrule. All these characters have different backgrounds that make them each unique and really give the game a true story. Along with the story, the sheer amount of detail in Nintendo Games are amazing. There are many hidden things in the games that always make you want to play it again.

My Relationship with Nintendo

When the Wii came out, it was a huge success. Pretty much all my friends had a Wii, and we would go play bowling in Wii Sports or try to solve puzzles in Super Mario Galaxy. It was practically a staple in every household. This was the first time where I was shown Nintendo, and I loved it. All the colorful worlds and the cool motion controls made everything fun. You could easily go to a group of friends and ask to play Mario Kart and they would immediately join. it was something everyone knew and like.

The Wii U was the eighth-generation console while the Wii was the seventh-generation console.

But when the Wii U came out, it left a sour taste in my mouth. All my friends had either stopped playing games or moved on to playing on other consoles. Rather than a select few, no one liked Nintendo anymore. Everyone thought it was so childish. The Wii U, in general, did horrible in terms of sales, and while it did have many memorable games, when I asked my friends if they wanted to play on my Wii U, they just gave me a disgusted face. No one liked Nintendo anymore.

It wasn’t just my friends though. The entire internet blew up things about the Wii U, the poor 3rd party support, its kiddish feel, and just that Nintendo was falling into a pit of doom. Everyone thought that Nintendo was going down because of all the dumb decisions they made. It went so far, that they predicted that it would be the next SEGA. SEGA had a great start, producing fantastic games like Sonic, or TETRIS while delivering a decent console. but over time, they couldn’t meet the demand of so many customers and ended up just making games instead of consoles.

The technological leap between the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch

Of course, many people didn’t want this for Nintendo, as their consoles always have something unique. For the Wii, it had the fun motion controls, and even with the bulky Wii U gamepad, it still gave an opportunity to play games while the TV was being used. But it just seemed like Nintendo was starting to fade away from the gaming world. As the years went on, the sales decreased, with a poor amount of Wii Us sold. Until Pokemon Go.

Nintendo Coming Back

I know not a lot of people play Pokemon Go anymore, but around the summer of 2016, everyone was. You could just stop by a park, or go outside, and boom. People left and right were playing, with portable chargers at hand. It was a gaming phenomenon, bringing Pokemon into the real world while capturing new fans of the series. This, in my opinion, started the hype train that Nintendo is on.

Pokemon Go players scatter across a park in California.

Nintendo then released a miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System, which did very well. This console brought in many older fans that had left the gaming world, and brought back many new memories to families everywhere.  The demand around the holiday season was so high, that scalpers started selling them for $200+ on eBay. This further fueled the hype by letting fans know that Nintendo was gearing up for a big release.

From there on, it was the announcement of the Nintendo Switch that got people very excited. The possibility of bringing large games out in the real world with ease really captured the minds of everyone. Sure, there was the 3DS and the PSVITA, but none could compare to the Nintendo Switch. Just the sheer amount of possibilities it had were amazing. Not only that, but everyone started getting back to Nintendo again. While people had some doubts, when the Nintendo Switch presentation launched in January, everyone started getting hyped.

Nintendo finally knew what they needed to do and started listening to their loyal fans. They added a phenomenal game, Zelda; Breath of the Wild, which is one of the highest games of all time. Along with that, they set a reasonable price for the console and said they would bring good 3rd party support. All those things combined launched the hype train above the sky, with news outlets saying everywhere this was the game changer.

Finally, March 3rd came, the big day. As thousands of people lined up at the Nintendo New York store, video of what was going on really showed the hype everywhere. The excitement filled the air, as more and more surprises were in store. When the console released with Zelda, it became an instant hit. Media outlets praised that Nintendo was back, with more developers promising to bring games to the console.

As the games kept on releasing with good reviews, so did the constant support. More and more people started to get on the hype train and this really helped Nintendo. Instead of people criticizing their bad moves, they continued to praise the companies commitment to its loyal fans. Many celebrities came out to show how fantastic the Switch was to their busy lifestyle, and this encouraged more people to consider buying the console. New IPs came to support Nintendo and continued to fuel how good the console was.


Jimmy Fallon caries a Nintendo Switch in his briefcase.


Final Thoughts

As I write this, I reflect back on Nintendo’s impact on me. Sure they had their ups and downs, but when it really mattered, they brought it together. They assured their loyal fans that there would be better changes, and gain new fans an opportunity to try out the wonderful world on Nintendo. Even with many people doubting the future, Nintendo brought it together and in the end, let everyone know that they came in the console wars better than ever. With the Switch selling 7.63 million consoles, it goes to show that fans have been waiting for a miracle like this.

I’d like to finish this story off with something I read about the fun of Nintendo. Sure, you could have graphics and power, but in the end, what matters are the games. And from what Reggie Fils-Aimé, president of Nintendo of America said, “The game is fun. If it’s not fun why bother?”